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Rhododendron canadense

Rhododendron canadense (L.) Torr.

Azalea canadensis (L.) Kuntze

Rhodora canadensis L.

Rhodora

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusRhododendronFrom Greek rhodos, “rose,” and dendron, “tree”
Speciescanadense“Of or from Canada”

About plant names...

These azaleas differ from others in flower shape sufficiently so they once merited their own genus, which was, naturally enough, Rhodora. They favor stream banks and swamps. A botanical icon of New England, Rhodora has been embraced by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, and composer Mary Lynn Lightfoot. It became the name of the New England Botanical Club’s journal, in publication continuously ever since 1899.

Plants: Plants are scrawny, deciduous shrubs 3-4' (91-121 cm) in size, spreading via stolons, horizontal above-ground roots.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, elliptic to oblong, gray-green, hairy beneath, ⅜-3" (1-8.3 cm) × ⅛-1" (4-30 mm). In the fall, the rosy-purple rhodora’s leaves turn bluish-purple, while the rarer white-flowered form’s leaves turn yellowish.

Flowers: Flowers are rose-purple, rarely white, in clusters at branch ends. The top three petals of the flower are fused together almost to the end to form a single lobe, whereas the bottom two are completely separate lips. The attractive blossoms are approximately 1½" (3.8 cm) across and have 10 stamens, twice the number of most east coast natives. They flower in early May to June.

Fruits: Orange-brown seed cases are ⅜-⁷/₁₆" (1-1.2 cm) long, occurring in clusters.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones

Online References:

Rhododendron canadense on tjhsst.edu

Rhododendron canadense on rosebay.org

Rhododendron canadense at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Rhododendron canadense on Wikipedia

Rhododendron canadense on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Rhododendron canadense on www.rhododendron.org

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/23/2016 · Wildflower Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/19/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 7 Jul 2017.

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Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/20/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/20/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/19/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/19/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/20/2016 · Bog near Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Rhododendron canadense (Rhodora)

5/23/2016 · Wildflower Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Range:

About this map...